The Virginia Tech, VPI, Blacksburg, Va.
"America's Most Modern Collegiate Newspaper"
February 25, 1943
The end of this week witnesses the departure of a very large number of our students, particularly seniors and juniors. Others will leave within the next three weeks. Many sophomores and freshmen have been leaving from day to day during the quarter because the calls of the selective service system. In this way the United States Army is being built up, and that is what makes our Army American.
In our student body there are those who have come from all ranks of life, and these are now being chosen by reason of being physically fit and mentally able and alert. They are the kind who must be called upon to do the hard jobs, and they must be tough enough to take whatever is passed out to them. The officers who have come up through the ranks by ability and hard work and common sense are after all from the same kind of homes as yours, they have been taught in the same type of schools, and they have the same beliefs and the same confidence in our country and in our government as the great majority of you have. In active service you will obey orders because you know why to do so, and you will follow your officers because you have faith in their leadership.
Phillips Brooks once wrote: "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle."
For many years our cadet corps has been rated in the highest rank. It is our hope that all who have been cadets here will merit the same high rating when they become members of the Army or Navy, that they will be ready to fight or to die for what they know is right, that they will cooperate and carry the load, and that they will not find fault, criticize and grumble about what they consider to be hardships, but will work to the best of their ability and then do a lot more.
After the duration of the war it is hoped that our students who have not graduated, or who if graduated wish to get more advanced training, will return to this college. They will be joyfully welcomed, and we will then set about the task of developing an even better Virginia Tech than we have enjoyed in the past. It is of interest to note that we have been assured by the War Department that our ROTC will be continued indefinitely and we trust forever so. We will want the assistance and support of the present juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, by returning to college as early as possible, to build up the best and greatest corps of cadets we have ever had here.
In a way you have completed your preparatory period and are now ready to go into the stern and trying activities which result from warfare. May of our alumni and others who have been here as students are now on active duty and scattered throughout every part of the world. It will be your lot to join them and to work efficiently, honestly, and courageously wherever you may be assigned. The reputation of VPI depends largely upon you. We congratulate you upon the opportunities for service which will soon be yours. It may be said that the hopes and fears of all the years are placed in you when you go into the armed services. We shall follow your careers with solicitude and we shall appreciate hearing from you whenever feasible.
- Julian A. Burruss, President of the College
Last updated May 4, 1998